Ex-US president Donald Trump links to a report on an obscure right-wing website suggesting hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania could be tainted by fraud.
Donald Trump has expanded his campaign of undermining trust in US democracy to this year's midterm elections, claiming baselessly that voting in a crucial swing state had been "rigged."
The 76-year-old former US president, who tried repeatedly to overturn his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden through a torrent of disinformation about nonexistent fraud — returned to the playbook in a post on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday.
Trump linked to a report on an obscure right-wing website suggesting that hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania could be tainted by fraud.
"Here we go again!" Trump posted. "Rigged Election."
The report cites a claim made last week by 15 Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania that, as of October 21, more than 240,000 ballots had been sent out to "unverified" voters.
"That is an enormous number of ballots which, according to the law, must be set aside and not counted for the 2022 General Election unless the voter produces ID," the legislators stated in a letter to the state government.
But Pennsylvania's state department said the letter was based on a poor understanding of the Keystone State's classification process — conflating applications for mail-in ballots with approved mail-in ballots.
"There are not 240,000+ 'unverified ballots,' as certain lawmakers are claiming. That is misinformation," the department, which administers the state's elections, said in a statement.
'Democrats are playing games again'
Pennsylvania requires applicants for postal ballots to provide proof of identification — alongside the request or separately. The ID is verified before the vote is counted.
If the voter fails in this requirement before the cut-off point, six days after election day, the ballot simply isn't counted.
The state department said the identity of the voter had yet to be verified on around 7,600 mail-in ballot applications statewide.
Trump had already been making noises by Friday about election irregularities, calling Pennsylvania's election "a total mess."
"The Democrats are playing games again because they know they are in deep trouble after unleashing skyrocketing crime, record Inflation, a war against American Energy, etc," Trump said.
Pennsylvania is one of 35 states holding US Senate elections on November 8, as well as picking a new governor and a slate of local officials.
Trump and his allies led millions of Americans into believing the 2020 presidential election was not free and fair, even as his own administration declared it the most secure vote in history.
He was impeached in 2021, one week before leaving office, for inciting a riot by his supporters at the US Capitol in Washington.